Biodun Salako is a 25 year old self-taught surrealist and abstract artist. Starting her craft by painting walls with shoe polish, Biodun’s earliest memory of an actual drawing was a long haired princess she drew when she was in primary two. She went on to study Fashion design and development in the University of Arts, London. Developing her art over the years, using acrylic, charcoal, pastel and water color to create stunning pieces of art that center around self, gender and the personal struggles of the 21st century youth. Social media has played a very strong role for Biodun in sharing her art. First sharing them on hi5, she went on to share them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr, garnering a fan base across these platforms.
In 2016, Biodun was chosen among several other bright young artists from across Africa to exhibit at Art X Lagos, West Africa’s first and biggest international Art Fair. The series she exhibited, called ‘The Journey’ depicted her life in line, colours and forms – from inception to finally accepting herself. This being her first exhibition, she was nervous about how people would respond to her work, describing her style as ‘weird and different’. But she needn’t have worried, as she got a great reception which she said made her feel welcome. She received a lot of great feedback from people on the pieces she exhibited, the most memorable being from a lady who waited for over an hour to meet her and let her know how much they resonated with her and comforted her. That one moment cemented Biodun’s resolution to keep making art until her last days, even if she never makes any money from it. Another highlight from the exhibition was meeting her idol, Sir Bruce Onobrakpeya, an elderly Nigerian artist, and standing beside him as he admired her work.
As the years go by, the meaning behind Biodun’s art works have developed. During the early years of her drawings, she could only draw inspiration from herself and her emotions. In her own words, her art has become less selfish and more honest. Nowadays, she draws inspiration from the things she learns about life, from science and especially from religion. Her aim is to make art that causes people to question the things they know and have been taught. Having gained a whole new understanding on what’s important and what’s not, she has decided to do away with negative emotion as a foundation of her art, insisting that there is already too much of that in the world.
Biodun is a multi-talented creative woman, and when she’s not at her day job or drawing, Biodun co-manages Sueno, a bar and wellness centre in Abuja, with her partner. She also makes and sells harnesses under the brand name ‘NOLSTNME’. She believes that talent is not enough to realize dreams, it has to be combined with smart work. Her dream project is to set up her own creative management agency, and we are definitely gunning for her.
Image Credit: Sessi K
This article was written by Phidelia Imiegha,
Phidelia Imiegha is a young Nigerian writer and lover of literature. She is an African literature enthusiast and accepts book gifts all year round. She spends her free time adulting and listening to music. You can find her writing on her personal blog www.phideliaimiegha.com, or follow her on twitter @thephidelia_.